A teacher's gift guide for parents
Helpful tips on getting gifts to say ‘thank you’ to your child’s teacher.
Your child’s teacher does so much more than just lead the class through a text book. During the course of the school year, the time spent in class and on the playground will be part of what shapes your child’s character as well as intellectual acumen.

The best sorts of teachers are the ones who get to know their class as individuals and spend time encouraging each child to step out of their comfort zones and become the best they can be. It’s a lovely tradition to give a teacher a gift at the end of the year, but many parents wonder what to get and how much to spend.

What to give a teacher as a gift

Personalise it

If you’ve spent some time chatting to your child’s teacher and have got to know them a little, you may have an idea of what they may like. The teacher may have moved into a new home, for example, and might appreciate kitchen goodies. If he or she is sporty, a sports-themed gift could work. It’s not too late to have a chat with the teacher and find out who they are after class!

Your child may have some ideas for you if you aren’t sure. It’s a great opportunity to sit down and discuss what’s been going on during the year.

Kelly on Facebook suggests: “Last year I bought mini cactus plants and planted them in colourful pots with a note saying 'thank you for helping me grow'. For all 6 caregivers it was R100.”
Nastasja agrees: “An orchid, no more than R150.”

Lots of people love chocolate, but your child’s teacher may be about to kick-start a diet or even have some kind of health issue which would make chocolate a bad idea. Your child could play detective and ask her teacher if she likes chocolate or other sweet treats. In the case of alcohol such as a nice bottle of wine the teacher may not drink or the school may not allow alcohol on the premises.

We spoke to one teacher who loves getting a homemade card or wrapping with her gift as it makes it really special and shows that the child was involved in the process.

Vouchers can work, too. There are many small businesses which offer discounted vouchers and many chain stores with plenty to choose from. A shopping spree is always fun! Cash isn’t quite as personal as a voucher.

Toiletries and bathroom goodies

The teacher may be one of the few people on the planet who adores body lotion, but, chances are she probably has enough on her shelves to start her own soap shop. Those gift sets are easy last-minute gifts, but aren’t terribly personal. They also either sit unused or get re-gifted…

How much?

Parents are often on a budget, and if you have more than one child this gifting process can be costly. It’s more about saying thank you than about impressing with expensive gifts. Depending on your budget, anything between R80 and R200 is more than sufficient. Some schools may require teachers to declare gifts over a certain amount in the interests of good governance.

Julie on Facebook says, “My son has a head teacher and two others and I usually spend about R150 on each. This year I am giving more if I can due to it having been a really tough year and his teacher was so kind to him.”

Most importantly, involve your child. The gift is really from your kid and not from you. Hopefully your child’s teacher has made some impact this year and a small token of appreciation from a child means so much to a teacher.

What kinds of gifts do you get for your child’s teacher?

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